Lasar Segall had always realized himself as a Jewish artist. Tragic events of 20 century had a deep impact on him. Many of his works were devoted to Jewish themes (series "The Emigrants" etchings, 1928-30, "Pogrom", 1936-37).
From 1936, Segal created a large number of works about the Holocaust and the horrors of World War II ("Ship of Emigrants", 1939-41; "The War", 1942; "Concentration Camp", 1945; "Survivors", 1946).
The tragic events in Jewish life are comprehended by the artist as an event of worldwide scope, as cosmic catastrophes, and this gives them special monumentality of pictorial and plastic incarnation. In his works of this period the immensity, philosophical depth is combined with the aspiration for self-restraint, for simplicity, even naive spontaneity.